Possibly no account has ever struck me with such horror as has that of Elizabeth Fritzl. The consideration of her plight is on a keel with thoughts of those unfortunate ones who suffered at the hands of Hitler and his henchmen during World War II, and who by the millions were tortured and killed.
In recent days has come to light her story, revealing that for 24 years her father kept her as a sex captive in a dungeon beneath his apartment house. When this beautiful young lady was 11 years old her father began raping her. More than once, she ran away, but he always managed to recapture her. At one point, it was even the police who returned her to her home. In the early days, he chained her as a dog, and forced her to dig with her own hands her torture chamber. It was an underground cave, with reinforced double doors and an electronic lock to which only Josef knew the code.
During these ghastly years, he continued to rape her and she gave birth to his 7 children…alone…in a dungeon. He presented three of the children to his wife, saying that Elizabeth had joined a cult, and had left the children on their doorstep.
Elizabeth reared the remaining three children (one died as an infant), cooing to them, rocking them, and teaching them rudimentary speech and reading skills. They never once saw the light of day. Those three humans spent their entire lives underground. Frequently, though, their father/grandfather ravaged the place, ordering them into back rooms, while repeatedly raping their mother. It is reported that after this deed was discovered the children, although they could speak, often communicated with each other in guttural, soft growls. It’s a ghastly story that I’m sure you’ve read about, and whose details are readily available. Pictures have been posted.
My question today is: Who is this man? Who is 73 year-old Josef Fritzl? His history presents him as an ordinary man, yet is that at all possible?
After mandatory schooling, Fritzl studied electric engineering at a polytechnic school and got his first job with steel company Voest. From 1969 to 1971 he worked for a construction material company in Amstetten, where he gained a reputation as an intelligent worker and a good technician. Then he went into the service industry and took over an inn 15 years ago.
Last week when the story unfolded and these dear people were rescued from this unfathomable torture, Fritzl admitted everything. Now, though, he has become silent, and there is word out that he will plead insanity.
Is there evil of such degree that a sane human could commit such atrocities? Or must we consider such a man hopelessly insane?
The jury who heard the case of Jeffrey Dahmer who injected acid into the brains of his victims, had sex with dead bodies, and even ate their flesh, considered him sane. For his evil deeds, they sentenced him to 7 life sentences.
I wrestle with the subject, for I cannot comprehend that anyone in his right mind could commit such deeds, yet when I consider the remainder of the life of Josef Fritzl, he gave every indication of sanity. He transacted business, took vacations, and cared for his wife and other children. No, he is not insane. He is profoundly evil…yet how can that be? Whence arises in a man such dastardly action?
My devotional blog is here.